Unhooked: A Mother's Story of Unhitching from the Roller Coaster of Her Son's Addiction

by Annie Highwater

"I am the mother of an addict. I'm in recovery as much as my addicted son is in recovery. Like many who hear about or personally experience the destructive effects of addiction, it took serious convincing for me to consider it a 'disease.' In fact, I was pretty self-righteous about it! I told myself, 'You don't see a cancer patient or diabetic stealing from the jewelry box of a family member nor damaging the people that love and need them.' But I didn't have an informed understanding of addiction. I was certain I could outsmart and tough love my son right out of addiction.

Annie Highwater's memoir follows the experiences of one mother who started her own life in a grossly neglected home and came to realize how those experiences both helped and hindered what would be the hardest, most heartbreaking, yet illuminating challenge of her life--her son's addiction to opiates.

Annie learns to understand that her own dysfunctional family upbringing influences her reactions. She is a fighter, never gives up, and digs deep into her past successful and unsuccessful strategies, including finding several treatment centers--the good and the disappointing ones. She sets boundaries, enlists resources, and finally moves through her life with determination and acceptance. Annie Highwater is also a contributor to our collection of stories "Not Far From Me: Stories of Opioids & Ohio."